Western University, Ontario

SS 1023: Statistical Concepts & SS 2037: Statistics of Health

Course Description

An examination of statistical issues aiming towards statistical literacy and appropriate interpretation of statistical information. Common misconceptions will be targeted. Assessment of the validity and treatment of results in popular and scientific media. Conceptual consideration of study design, numerical and graphical data summaries, probability, sampling variability, confidence intervals, and hypothesis tests.

Learning Objectives

As you embark on learning in this course, keep in mind that it is framed in terms of statistical literacy, rather than as a 'methods' course. That is, our goal is to develop a tool kit of knowledge and questions that we can draw on to help evaluate the validity and trustworthiness of research results and information, e.g. in popular media. Consequently, by the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Correctly use and understand foundational vocabulary concepts associated with statistics;
  • Interpret, create (with the aid of suitable applets/technology), and critically evaluate graphical and numerical summaries of data;
  • Understand the role of chance, randomness, and 'average' in the context of statistical research design and analysis;
  • Evaluate and critique the validity of statistical research designs and conclusions;
  • Evaluate statistical information presented in media and society.
  • Course Materials

  • Lectures on YouTube